Fla. K9 killer gets life sentence for night of crime

By Sarah Prohaska
The Palm Beach Post

FORT PIERCE, Fla. Flanked by about half a dozen fellow K-9 officers, Michael Colton stood beside a painted portrait of his slain K-9 partner in a St. Lucie courtroom Friday and tried to explain how the dog's death affected not only his life and job, but also his family at home.

Colton said his daughter, who was 8 when the 5-year-old deputized German Shepherd was shot to death in the line of duty in 2004, also wanted to come to court Friday, but he wouldn't let her. The bond between dog and handler is forged not only on the job, but also at home where, he said, Vasko became like a member of his family.

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